I spent hours this evening editing a video about the BNP. I hope you like it.
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So it finally happened. Griffin faced the BBC audience.
David Dimbleby was well briefed and quoted several of Griffin’s more outrageous remarks at him. The panel raged and gave their all. But somehow at the end of it all I felt disappointed.
I was keen to see Griffin on Question Time. I felt that the only way to show how odious he really is, would be to get him up there on the BBC and to repeat back some of his own lines. Yet, when it actually happened it looked like gang of bullies beating a feckless child. He responded to every claim; he repeated untruths and half-truths.
But at the end of the day, although the panel was right to attack him, it just looked like a bunch of liberal bullies beating up on the racist.
I don’t personally feel any sympathy for Griffin because of this. He deserved every verbal attack the panel gave him, but it demonstrated the fatal flaw of the mainstream parties. Every mainstream party representative argued on racism as a moral issue. It’s just not right to be racist. Griffin argued his own racist views on practical issues such as jobs, housing, and benefits – and his concept of ‘indigenous’ rights.
There are a huge number of myths perpetrated about the number of migrants to the UK that actually “steal jobs” or “go top of the list for housing”, but if Griffin continues to perpetuate the image that he is the only one prepared to do something about it, and the other parties just stutter on about how racism is nasty and wrong, then he will pick up support. The mainsteam parties need to offer better information, not just indignation.
I think the net result of Question Time was that the people who always hated the BNP, hate them just as much as before. Those who were undecided, unsure, or just don’t really trust or engage with politicians – they probably like Griffin a lot more after seeing the mainstream parties attack him on BBC1 tonight.
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Tagged BBC, BBC1, bnp, british national party, David Dimbleby, immigration, migrant, moral, nick griffin, question time, racism, racist, tv
Welsh Secretary, Peter Hain, has warned that the plan for BNP leader Nick Griffin to appear on the BBC debate programme Question Time this week could well be illegal. Hain believes that the membership conditions of the BNP should exclude it from being considered as a legitimate political party.
The BNP presently excludes all except ‘indigenous Caucasian people’ from membership. This has recently been challenged by the Human Rights Commission, and the BNP has agreed to amend the membership clause, so any member could be any colour.
Obviously, it’s unlikely that non-white people would rush to join a racist party, but the question is really over the timing of this change to their membership policy. Hain argues that with this exclusion in place, the party cannot be considered a legitimate political party and should not be given a platform at the debate alongside mainstream parties.
The BBC appears to be taking the line that the BNP is a democratically elected party, and they deserve the right to be included in the debate, regardless of Hain’s point of view – and in any case, the BNP has vowed to amend the offending policy.
I take the view that the BBC should allow the debate to go ahead regardless of these issues. Hain is a prominent campaigner on race issues with decades of experience of campaigns such as the anti-apartheid movement. He knows all about the anti-racist movement, but there are people who will be voting in the 2010 general election who were born in the 1990s. They can’t remember apartheid or even more recent race incidents such as the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles.
I think it would be more educational and demonstrative to get the BNP up on the stage and to allow the other speakers on the panel the opportunity to hang Griffin with his own rope. How about asking Griffin about the pamphlet he wrote on Jewish domination of British media? Or asking why the BNP constitution actually refers to ‘stemming the tide’ of non-white people in the UK? Or asking why Griffin denies that the Nazi holocaust ever occured?
Many British people are concerned about immigration, not even non-white immigration. Movement within the EU causes enough consternation for many people who feel they are competing for jobs that Eastern Europeans will do for less. If the mainstream parties addressed these issues over immigration more directly then there would be no fuel for the far-right. They are gaining strength because there is a perception that the mainstream parties are not dealing with immigration.
There is plenty of ammunition for the other Question Time panelists to use against Griffin. Let’s hope they expose him as the nasty little fascist he really is.
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Tagged apartheid, BBC, bnp, british national party, fascism, fascist, illegal, immigration, nazi, nazism, nick griffin, party, peter hain, political, question time, racist, rodney king